The island called Puerto Rico is a colony of the United States. This fact means that the rights US citizens assume to be theirs do not necessarily apply to Puerto Ricans living on the island. The history of Puerto Rico since the United States military invaded it in 1898 makes this very clear. Whether one is taking a look at the economic relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico, the political relationship, or the military relationship, the blatant nature of the colonial relationship is foremost.
This becomes very clear in Nelson A. Denis’ 2015 history War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony. Partially a biography of the Nationalist leader and hero Pedro Albizu Campos and partially a history of the Puerto Rican nationalist movement in the early and mid-twentieth century, this text tells a story more people in the United States should know. The racism and just plain disregard for human lives described in Denis’ narrative is a match for the very worst of humanity’s inhumanity to other humans. The fact that it continues in Washington’s current dealings with Puerto Rico is testament to the arrogance intrinsic to colonialism, no matter how it is dressed up.